Is synthetic oil better than conventional oil in older cars

Correlation and causation, my friend. Just because a car has a cartridge filter and calls for synthetic oil does not mean that the use of synthetic oil requires a cartridge filter

The oil filter for my wifes 2007 Lexus hasn’t changed design since we bought it 2007. Recommended oil is 5W-30 conventional.

Again my wife’s 07 Lexus recommended oil change interval is 5k miles. The Highlander is 10k miles (but I stick by the 5k miles interval). The Toyota filter (or any aftermarket filter) is the same for both vehicles. No difference. Filter has been the exact same design with same material since at least 2007.

Don’t you mean 5,000 and 10,000 miles?

Yes…miles…I corrected it…Thanks for pointing it out

Having a cartridge filter has nothing to do with using synthetic oil. Both trends happened around the same time, but for different reasons.


No they aren’t…The biggest advantage of the cartridge’s vs the spin on canister is environmental. The canisters don’t contain metal so they’re supposed to be easier to dispose of or recycle. It has nothing to do with Synthetic oil. I’ve been running full Synthetic in my Focus with it’s spin on canister since my wife got it a decade ago (sometimes with the extended life filter, sometimes with a normal filter. I don’t extend my oil change interval, so it doesn’t matter)

I stick with the 5k myself. It doesn’t surprise me that the design hasn’t changed for that long. I know the Focus used the exact same filter since at least 2005 until 2018 when they discontinued it.

My 14 Audi requires I use synthetic oil (5W40 only comes synthetic) but has a spin on filter. Our old 01 Saab required semi synthetic and used a spin on filter.


Better fuel economy, better cold start protection, easier starting in cold weather, far better heat resistance of turbo cars or hard use… towing, track days, heavy traffic.

There are lots of quantifiable reasons for using synthetics. The car manufacturers know this and require full synthetic oil in more and more new cars.

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There are now synthetic oils in different weights for the rotary valves on French horns. I attended a clinic several years back where the presenter said not to mix the synthetic with non-synthetic oil. However, the printing on the bottle says it is compatible with all other types of oil. I had one of my horns repaired by a reputable horn technician in my area. He specifically recommends synthetic oil which I now use. I used it in place of the regular oil on all three of my horns. It seems to me the valves operate more quickly.
Just like all the theories on what type of oil to use in an internal combustion engine, horn players have just as many theories as to what type and brand of oil to use on the valves.

So has it improved your MPG (melodies per gasp)?


@texases. At my age, I need all the help I can get when I play the horn. I think my mpg (melodies per gasp) has improved with synthetic oil, particularly on fast passages with 16th or 32nd note runs.

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I considered trying out for a couple of local community orchestras, but then I read the resumes on current members - way out of my league. So I go listen (or will go listen) instead.

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You’ve mentioned that in the past. I finally got around to getting some for my horn, I think it has made a difference both in valve operation speed, and how long it lasts, particularly since I don’t play very often anymore.

One article I read a few years ago is that in California that over 1000 tons of oil filter metal is put in their landfills every year. And that’s just one state.

Ah…No. My current highlander oil recommendation is 0W-20 (only comes as synthetic). But I’ve been using synthetic before I bought my highlander for other reasons.

#1 - Tow a camper at least 10 weekends a summer.

#2 - 2-3 times a month from Dec thru March we’re up in the White Mountains skiing. It’s not unheard of to wake up Sunday morning to -20 or lower temps.

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I saw an article that said 69 million filters a year in California. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s more than 1,000 tons a year.

The other benefit is that spin-ons trap oil unless they’re carefully drained, cartridges don’t.

If you follow the Ford recommendations for changing oil, I’d use regular old mineral oil and a oil the synthetic oils or blends. Cost is the main reason. This new Valvoline store probably charges about twice as much for a synthetic blend oil change compared to mineral oil, and three times as much for fully synthetic oil. I’m guessing they are like the oil change shop I used to use. When I bought my new car, I got the oil changed there once, just long enough to find out the high prices they charge for anything that says synthetic. Your store might be different, but I doubt it. Someone above said that synthetic oil is about the same price as mineral oil, and they are right, but that’s just for the oil. The lube shop will jack up the cost to make as much off you as they can. You don’t need synthetic oil, so don’t pay the ridiculous price. BTW, Valvoline is a quick lube shop, and young mechanics typically have their first job in a shop like this. That means they are more prone to mistakes than someone with experience. Unless the shop has a foreman to check all work, you might have problems.

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Yeah i’m worried about stuff like that, but i’m afraid to go to our usual shop we go to due to the virus. We just used what ever oil they had but now we have to make a choice. Our old shop has such a small waiting room there would be no way to social distance and i don’t want anyone in our car so Valvoline seems right for now. I did make my mom and i a hat with what looks like a plastic wedding vail we could wear if we really had to go, but my mom is embarrassed to wear it. I think it would be funny to see how our shop would react to that. I get the feeling they aren’t real big on mask wearing so seeing us wear that would be interesting. You just can’t trust anyone these days, we used to go to a dealer ship to have our oil changed, they tried to cheat us and say we need 700 in flushes, long story short they were lying and we never went back. We just have to be so careful this is our only means of transportation. My mom always got the oil changed every 6 months like clock work but when the virus hit we got scared to go and now its been a year so we have to make a decision this week. Of course we will have to go in the shop someday. We were at the post office and the thing you put the key in wouldn’t turn i had to keep jiggling it, we had problems with that in the past to. On top of that the hood latch cable needs to be replace, last time i opened the hood it felt very loose so if i can’t get it open we will have to go to our old shop anyway so i’ll see when we are at Valvoline if i can get it open. Anyway like with anything we will ask God to help us.

No longer than it takes to get a filter and oil change why can’t you go by yourself and wait outside . After they finish and park it outside take disinfectant wipes and go over every thing you think might have been touched . There are even mobile oil change people in some places.

Maybe you should help yourself instead of relying on Devine intervention.

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I was thinking of going myself but my mom doesn’t want to be home alone… There is a mobile place i can use and i like the idea of buying my own oil, but like i said we may still have to go to our old shop, i don’t know if i can get the hood open. Things don’t turn out right at least for me when i try to help myself, i learned my lesson on that way to many times to count , so now i ask God to help me with every little thing and so far so good. Sure i used to be proud thinking i can do it myself in just about everything but thank God i don’t do that anymore. " God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

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